During my habitual, lazy and very enjoyable browsing of all the Monday vases that have appeared today, I have been wracked with envy at everyone else’s current abundance of soft, fluffy peonies crammed into vases left, right and centre, when I have none. Nonetheless, positive framing and all that, I do have a glut of red poppies, and they are clashing horribly with everything else so I am quite content to snip them off as soon as they appear and bring them indoors. Come autumn, I’ll move this plant to the back garden where it will be more at home among the vermillions and oranges on the sunnier side of the tenement.
You may be interested to know that the wall behind the flowers is in fact a deep moss green, though it has gone grey against the vase, and I haven’t bothered to adjust the colour back to its proper shade in these photos, as the colours of the flowers came through pretty true and I was loathe to interfere too much. The lights were off and the late afternoon sky outside dim; this is where a good SLR camera and photo processing software really come into their own. I take all my photos in natural light and spend a lot of time balancing aperture, ISO, and shutter speed to achieve sharply focused edges. It’s easy to crank ISO up to the max, but the noise (spots of grain) becomes unbearable, and then it’s down to Lightroom to reduce that noise, which then reduces detail. This is why many of my indoor photographs end up looking more like they’ve been painted than photographed: it’s that loss of detail and unnatural smoothness, which I turn to my advantage as a personal characteristic when shooting vases, but it’s less ideal if, for example, photographing an insect or a plant in which you wish to capture millions of tiny hairs or other important texture or detail.
Some or all of this may be quite familiar to some of the other garden bloggers I follow, whose blogs are often as much about the photographs as the gardening, but for anyone who was baffled by all that chat, I am presently going to write and publish a few posts on photography and taking one’s best shots of the garden.
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the fragrant Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Do go across and have a look at her beautiful yellow roses and honeysuckle, and also follow the links to see what other masterly creations have appeared across other gardening blogs today.